Author Archives: lainapickrel

About lainapickrel

I am a writing, editing, traveling Seattleite who enjoys cooking and crafting on a budget and upcycling/repurposing.

DIY Spray Paint Chevron Table




Turn an ugly fixer-upper piece of furniture into a bold and beautiful addition to your living room!

I made a big move and had to get rid of a lot of my stuff, which meant getting new stuff at a good price. I found this coffee table at the goodwill for $5, but it was really ugly. I wish I had a “before” picture! My friend and I decided it was a craft just waiting to happen! I had always wanted to try Chevrons, and this was the perfect opportunity!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A fixer-upper table (or other piece of furniture)
  • A sander and matching sand paper
  • Sand paper for the little cracks a sander can’t get to
  • Blue tape. I got 2-inch tape, but you can choose whichever size you like. The smaller the tape the smaller the chevron.
  • Spray paint in two colors of your choice (I went with taupe and white)
  • A clear coat spray paint. I got one that would be water resistant, so I could set cups on there without worrying.


  1. Tape off your chevrons on the tableThe table I started with had peeling varnish on it. You want to make sure you sand that off so the spray paint sticks.  Sanding was the most time-consuming part. I don’t have a sander, but luckily my move brought me closer to my parents place. My dad loaned me his sander, which saved a lot of time! There will be little cracks and curves and crannies that you’ll have to use sand paper for, though.
  2. Once it is all sanded down, you’ll want to spray it with your base color. My base color was white. Spray from far away to get a nice even finish.
  3. Now to lay down your blue tape. This is the tricky part. You’ll notice that my chevrons are not perfect. That is because I perfected the art after I started. What you’ll want to do is measure out pieces of tape to be the exact same size. 5 inches is what I ended up going with. Then, as you go along, you’ll lay down each piece of tape corner-to-corner so they overlap and leave a perfect angle.DIY Spray Paint Chevron Table
  4. Take a credit card and carefully smooth down all edges of your tape so the paint won’t bleed. (In the picture to the right you can see that the left upper corner didn’t get smoothed down enough and the paint bled a little.)
  5. Tape off everything else you don’t want to get your secondary color on – sides, legs, etc.
  6. Spray your secondary color. In my case, this was the taupe/brown color I chose.
  7. Once everything has dried, carefully peel off the tape.
  8. Now you’re ready to spray on your clear coat. I wanted to make sure my table was well-protected, so I put on two coats.peel off the blue painters tape

Viola! You now have a beautifully redone table (or other piece of furniture) that you can be proud to show to company!

This was simple once you got past the “how do I lay down the tape?” part. The most fun was peeling off all the paint to reveal the chevrons!

Have fun, and please comment with your trials and errors below, I would love to see what you come up with in terms of colors and different furniture pieces! The possibilities are endless!

DIY Spray Paint Chevron Table

DIY Spray Paint Chevron Table

<3, Laina & Small Detail Crafts

Want to know about more fun crafts and upcycling projects like this? Visit my Pinterest!

Do you enjoy cooking as much as crafting? Check out Small Detail Food for some appetizing recipes!


DIY Candle Making Tutorial



I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love candles! I saw a Pinterest post a while ago about how to make your own candles and wanted to try it myself (you can see the blog post “DIY Survival Candles” here).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • soy wax flakes
  • wicks
  • glass jars
  • wooden chop sticks, not pulled apart
  • a crayon or two of your desired color(s)
  • candle scents in a flavor of your choice

I looked up a few of the closest craft stores and called around to see who had soy wax flakes and wicks, etc. It turned out a local soap shop had everything I needed. Before buying wax and wicks do some research or ask the shopkeeper which ones are compatible. My first candles would burn out because the wax didn’t burn as quickly as the wick, and the opposite can also be a problem.

When I bought the soy wax flakes I way overestimated how much I would need. Start small and if you want to make more get more — to start you probably don’t need more than a pound. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Set up jars and center wicks in them, keeping them stable by pinching the top part of the wick between the chopsticks and setting the chopsticks over the opening of the jar (see picture).

    You'll notice the chopsticks are broken in this picture -- it is much easier if they are not broken apart.

    You’ll notice the chopsticks are broken in this picture — it is much easier if they are not broken apart.

  2. Melt the wax. You can do this in one of two ways. Melt the crayon and soy wax flakes in a double broiler or equivalent (a small pot set into a bigger pot filled with water over the stove), or you can put it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for two minute intervals until it is completely melted. Try to use a pan or container that you dont care about too much; the wax will come off, but it takes some work. A note on the crayon: you only need about half a stick per pound, give or take, mix it in once everything is melted.

    Use a double broiler (or equivalent) or a microwave-safe container to melt the wax in.

    Use a double broiler (or equivalent) or a microwave-safe container to melt the wax in.

  3. Once all is melted and the desired color, add in the candle scent and stir.
  4. Pour the wax into the jars, leaving a little extra wax for later, and set them somewhere safe to dry. Once they have dried you may notice there is an indentation around the wick. Reheat the remaining wax and pour it into the jar and let dry.
    Notice the indentations around the wick.

    Notice the indentations around the wick.

    I didn't think to leave any extra wax mixture left over to fill the indentations, so I had to use plain soy wax to fill them up, which is why it looks white and milky on top.

    I didn’t think to leave any extra wax mixture left over to fill the indentations, so I had to use plain soy wax to fill them up, which is why it looks white and milky on top.

  5. Trim the wick and enjoy your home made candle!


I’m going to be publishing another post about how to recycle candles by making new ones out of old ones. I’ve had a lot of luck with it, so stay tuned!



If you enjoy crafts such as this one check out more on my pinterest.

If you enjoy cooking take a look at Small Detail Food, yum!




Basket making



I just wanted to share a few pictures of when I made my first basket! It was a very fun experience and the nice thing is you can make it for any purpose you like. I wish I could share the specifics of where to get materials, but all I know is you soak the wood overnight. My friend Laurie had everything ready to go and just guided me along as we went. I’m sure you could look up where to get materials near you and the shop people could tell you where to go from there.


The bottom is sometimes hard to start and get set right, but you expand and when you want to start with the sides…


…you just start making it the same length/tightness all around. As you can see, I added beads to mine.


The bottom of my basket wasn’t sitting flat enough for my liking. According to my lovely teacher, if I stood on it it would set right. It set great!


As you can see, you can use soaked wood or even rope. This rope is such a lovely color because it washed up on shore where Laurie saved it for such a project. She used shells she’d collected that happened to have holes in them and strung them on as feet for her basket. Here she is cutting the extra long ends off.


Here are the finished baskets.


I made mine for my kitten Tiger Lily. At first it was for a sleeping basket, but now that she’s big I use it for all her toys. I made this basket the day I went to get her!

Hope this inspires you!

If you like crafts such as this, feel free to check me out on Pinterest. If you enjoy food then take a look at Small Detail Food!



2012 in review


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

No Sew DIY Fourth of July Spray Paint Tank Top


I am going to what is supposedly the most epic 4th of July party in the history of ever (according to every person who’s been in the years before). It is actually a whole weekend event, so when I saw this tank top on Pinterest I figured I had to make it. Unfortunately the picture didn’t have a tutorial attached, so I decided to wing it. My girlfriend and I got together and picked up a couple boy Ts from the Goodwill and stopped by Joann’s for the rest of the supplies.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A plain white T shirt
  • Blue tape
  • Red and blue spray paint (NOTE: it is way cheaper to buy this somewhere besides a craft store! i.e. Lowes, Fred Meyer…)
  • Star stickers
  • Scissors


  1. Cut your T shirt how you like (For a easy way to fold it so that everything is even see my “How to fold for even cutting” picture). Be sure to save one of the sleeves you cut off. (If you want more detailed directions on how to cut the shirt look at this DIY tank top tutorial from Dollars, Sense & More.)

    How to fold for even cutting: Match up the shoulder seams and fold in half so it’s folded on the front and back instead of the sides. This way you can cut the neckline evenly and also both sleeves at once instead of worrying about making them even.

    Tape off your shirt

  2. Slide a piece of cardboard inside the shirt. For the red part tape off stripes and make sure to cover up the part you want to make blue. Depending on what kind of stripes you want you’ll spray differently. I went with a more faded look so I sprayed from farther away, while my friend did a more graffitied look. You could also do it more solid if you like. (Keep in mind that the thicker you spray the paint, the stiffer the fabric will be.)

    Faded look

    Graffitied look

  3. After the red has dried, take off only the tape that’s over the section where you want blue and tape over the surrounding red parts. Lay down your star stickers however you like and spray away!

    Put on star stickers

    Tape off surrounding red sections and spray

  4. Take one of the sleeves that was cut off and spray it whatever color you like. I did both red and blue. You’ll cut this and use it to tie the back together.
  5. After everything has dried, take off all the tape. Cut your sleeve piece lengthwise — it can be skinny or thick, depending on the look you like (Mine was about two inches — keep in mind that it will roll a bit). Tie the back together with your extra strip, knotting twice with the knot on the inside. Cut the ends off, leaving enough extra to tuck it into the knot so they don’t show.

    Knot the back together and tuck in the ends

    Graffiti look on the left, faded on the right


NOTE: You can do any design with this idea. You could do letters or cut out a silhouette and spray paint over those as well. You could do a tank for each holiday! I have also seen fun Pinterest shirts where you spray over a cut-out with bleach instead of spray paint. Have fun with the possibilities!

If you like crafts like this check out more on Laina’s Pinterest.

Do you also enjoy cooking, eating, and food? Take a look at Small Detail Food!

DIY Lavender Bath Salts


Do it yourself lavender bath salt

For Christmas last year I made various jar gifts, including Mocha Cocoa Mix, Sugar & Spice Face & Body Scrub, and Lavender Bath Salts. These projects were all pretty easy and fun to do, as well as wonderful gifts for yourself and others! Just add the lavender bath salts to your bath, or even to a foot soak, and soak in the luxury!

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup dried lavender (or other yummy-smelling dried herb/flower)
  • 5 drops essential oil (I didn’t have any so I used vanilla extract)


  1. Mix the salts and Lavender together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the essential oils one drop at a time, mixing well between each drop.
  3. Store in a jar. You can use a mason jar or a recycled glass jar (such as an old jam or salsa jar).
  4. To use, add as much as you desire to bath water (a few tablespoons should do the trick).

This recipe only yields a little less than a cup and a half. For gifts, I needed to fill ten one-cup mason jars. If you need a larger yield, here are the measurements for ten cups of lavender bath salts:

  • 4 cups sea salt
  • 4 cups epsom salt
  • 2 cups lavender
  • 1/2 teaspoon essential oil

Happy bathing/gifting!

If you like crafting and want more ideas, check out Laina on Pinterest, where you’ll find crafts, recipes, and a whole lot more!

Do you like food? Cooking? Eating? Take a look at Small Detail Food, where you’ll find easy, delicious & economical recipes.

The RE Store, reclaimed building materials for a greener home


I recently visited The RE Store for the first time. I’d heard wonderful things about it but had never made the time to stop by. It was like fun land for crafter/upcycle/repurpose/reclaimers! I wanted to share some fun pictures I took while I was there. Oh, the possibilities! I know they have a RE Store Bellingham and in Seattle. If you love making old things new I highly suggest you find a similar store in your location. Feel free to comment your findings!

If you like Small Detail Crafts, check out Small Detail Food, where you can fine easy, delicious and economical meals!

Check out Laina on Pinterest to find more fun ideas, crafts, and recipes!